INDIANAPOLIS — Misty Monson is Ascension St. Vincent’s first pregnant patient to be infected with COVID-19 so badly that she had to be placed on ECMO.
ECMO is a machine that pushes oxygenated air into your lungs and blood into your body, allowing one’s heart and lungs to rest.
COVID-19 hits immunocompromised patients especially hard, and pregnancy is a significantly immunocompromised state.
The main symptom that Monson was experiencing was the loss of breath.
“They tried the CPAP but I got claustrophobic, so they tried a sedation but they ended up having to put an oxygen mask over my nose and every time I opened my mouth it sounded like an airplane in my head,” explained Monson.
“I was screaming and crying for the doctors to help me breathe because I just could not breathe. So that’s when they made the call.”
Monson’s doctor and about 15 others began to hook her up to different machines and ports and were ready to put her on a ventilator. She begged them to slow down so she could at least say goodbye to her husband.
“My husband got there and I was able to tell him I love him and give him a kiss,” said Monson. “I didn’t know if I was going to wake up.”
Monson was on a ventilator and ECMO for six days. The doctors spoke to her family and were preparing them for the worst by explaining there was a 50/50 chance she would make it.
“From August 25 when I went into Hendricks Regional, to when I got out September 17 from St. Vincent’s, I don’t really remember any of it. But he [the baby] was fine. They monitored him the whole time I was in the ICU,” said Monson.
Misty made a fantastic recovery and has been told by many doctors that she is a miracle.
The COVID-19 vaccine is proven safe and effective for pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Ascension St. Vincent says they strongly encourage the vaccine, especially in those who are immunocompromised, like pregnant women.
Misty’s baby was placed in the NICU however is now home with mom safe and sound.